Tag Archives: hiking apparel reviews

Review: Marmot Crux Jacket Ultralight Rain Shell

June 5, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Marmot Crux Jacket

Marmot Crux Jacket

Ultralight Rain Jacket
Marmot Crux Jacket
$275, 7.5 oz, (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
marmot.com

Your relationship with your rain shell can feel a little dysfunctional at times: on again, off again. On numerous trips from early March through May, from backpacking the Grand Canyon’s Royal Arch Loop—including an unusual, full day of rain showers and wind—to dayhiking in the Tetons and Zion National Park, trekking the Kepler Track in New Zealand’s notoriously wet Fiordland National Park, and backpacking five days down Paria Canyon on the Utah-Arizona border, I found the ultralight Crux good for trips where you’re cycling between wearing it and carrying it. Continue reading →

Review: Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

May 22, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody

Hybrid Insulation Jacket
Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody
$185, 10 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s XS-XL
outdoorresearch.com

On cool mornings in May while backpacking the Grand Canyon’s Royal Arch Loop, and in late March on a five-day, family backpacking trip down Paria Canyon on the Utah-Arizona border, I did something unusual: I started the day’s hiking wearing the same jacket I had worn while in camp, OR’s new Deviator Hoody. From cool-weather hiking to skate-skiing in winter, I liked the Deviator as a next-generation, hybrid insulation piece whose versatility is limited only by your creativity in thinking about your layering system. Continue reading →

Review: L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Fuse Jacket

May 15, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments
L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Fuse Jacket

L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Fuse Jacket

Insulated Jacket
L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Fuse Jacket
$159, 13 oz. (men’s medium regular)
Sizes: men’s regular S-XXL, men’s tall M-XXl, women’s misses XXS-XL, petite XS-XL
llbean.com

Someday, outdoor enthusiasts of a certain age may reflect back on the dark ages of the early 21st century by saying, “Remember when an insulated jacket was something you only wore when you weren’t moving?” Well, given the growing profusion of jackets with breathable insulation, those “ancient” shells that are essentially half a sleeping bag with sleeves are already obsolete. I wore the most affordable piece of active insulation I’ve yet seen, Bean’s PrimaLoft Packaway Fuse Jacket, at times on wet, chilly, windy days trekking the Dusky Track and Kepler Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park in early March, and in camp on cool evenings and mornings (days were quite warm) on a five-day, family-backpacking trip down Paria Canyon on the Utah-Arizona border in late March. It’s as versatile as some pricier competitors and will fit more people than other jackets in this category. Continue reading →

Review: Montane Featherlite Shell Jacket

March 27, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Montane Featherlite Shell Jacket

Montane Featherlite Shell Jacket

Rain Jacket
Montane Featherlite Shell Jacket
$399, 11 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL
montane.co.uk

Not many corners of the globe receive more rain than southern New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, which sees anywhere from seven to 10 meters of precipitation annually—that’s anywhere from 275 to almost 400 inches of water falling from the sky, upwards of 20 times as much as received by famously gloomy Seattle. That makes it a pretty good place to test a rain jacket. The new Featherlite kept me dry and comfortable—sometimes for many hours of hiking in steady rain or wet snow—on Fiordland’s Kepler and Dusky tracks earlier this month. Continue reading →

February 1, 2015 Timberline Trail, Oregon.

A Preview of This Year’s Best New Gear

In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

 

Osprey Aura 65 AG

Osprey Aura 65 AG

Thinking about buying a new backpack, tent, boots, or other outdoor gear or apparel? Last August, I spent a couple of days wandering the floor of The Salt Palace in Salt Lake City—a convention center you could fit a few Wal-Marts inside—at the Outdoor Retailer Show, ogling the best of the new products for hiking and backpacking that will hit stores this winter and spring.

I’ll test and review many of these, but here’s an early peek at the most interesting items I saw (in other words, the stuff I’m most coveting).

Continue reading →

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